An NHNE News Flash:
Wednesday, July 30, 1997
On July 7, NHNE received a press release from Aaron Du Val, President of EGYPTOLOGY SOCIETY in Miami, Florida stating that his group was preparing to announce an important archeological find of megalithic ruins underwater off the coast of Bimini. Photographs and video tapes of the ruins, which reportedly consisted of metal-covered walls, quarry marks similar to those found in Egypt, pyramid-shaped structures similar to those on the Giza Plateau, and star charts on the walls, were to be presented at a July 25th press conference at the MIAMI MUSEUM OF SCIENCE.
Seeking to verify Du Val's claims, NHNE contacted Du Val in Florida. In a telephone interview, Du Val would not divulge any information about the location of the find, or who made it. He said much of this information would be revealed in the July 25th meeting. NHNE also learned from both Du Val and MIAMI MUSEUM officials that the only connection between the EGYPTOLOGY SOCIETY and the MIAMI MUSEUM OF SCIENCE was that Du Val's organization rented meeting space from museum.
Seeking to alert our readers to this fast-breaking story and enlist their help in determining the authenticity of Du Val's claims, we sent out our first NHNE NEWS FLASH on this topic to everyone on the NHNE mailing list on July 17, 1997. We immediately began receiving calls and email from people all over the world. NHNE then arranged for a SwiftWing reporter to attend Du Val's July 25th press conference. To our disappointment, at the last minute (the morning of the July 25th), Du Val announced that the meeting was being postponed until August 8th, in order for his group to arrange for more protection of the site, which he felt was still vulnerable to plundering and vandalism. If the August 8th meeting takes place as planned, an NHNE representative will be there to file a report.
Until then, we leave you with a particularly interesting letter from Paul E. Pettennude, who claims to be an underwater archeologist who is intimately familiar with the Bimini area. His letter was written in response to Du Val's declaration that artifacts from the lost continent of Atlantis had been discovered in Bimini. Pettennude's letter is reprinted here with permission.
NHNE News Brief
(Source: Paul E. Pettennude, thanks to Coreen Kutchak)
As an underwater archaeologist dealing with indigenous America, I can state categorically that nothing has been found in the Bahamas. I can say this for several reasons:
-- The first reason surfaced several weeks ago when I was asked to inquire about a newly-discovered artifact off Bimini. I did so with the largest dive operator on the island. It seems someone found a large granite block with a pyramid carved on it. It had only been in the water for a month because no soft corals were growing on it and it hadn't really started sinking into the substrate, which is 15 feet deep in that area. It was hauled out and taken over to Bimini for display.
-- Bimini is not the lost world. It is a very, very popular resort destination and thousands of divers visit it every year. Every available reef is dived frequently and nothing else has turned up.
-- The HARBOR BRANCH OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE of Melbourne, Florida (a very prestigious) research center is currently harvested a species of sponge at all levels of depth down to at least 3,000 feet. This sponge contains enzymes which retard the growth of a number of cancers. The work is being conducted under NSF grants with Bahamian cooperation. My wife is one of the researchers from the UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI MEDICAL SCHOOL. The ROSENTEIL SCHOOL OF OCEANOGRAPHY at the UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI is also involved. The equipment is very sophisticated and there is nothing but known wrecks being found.
-- In 1986, NASA had the Navy scour everything north of Cuba to north of North Carolina looking for pieces of the exploded Challenger shuttle. Every square foot of bottom down to 6,000 feet was examined and every piece of the wreck larger than a dinner plate was recovered.
-- The U.S. Navy maintains a submarine nuclear training facility in the Bahamas and every square yard of the bottom has been sonically mapped down to bedrock. The AUTEC buoy off the Bahamas is connected to the bottom by a huge cable and is used to resupply American ICBM submarines. This is near the location known as the "Tongue of the Ocean."
-- The U.S. Navy maintains a system called SOSUS which cost $16 billion to secure the ocean floor from foreign subs. It paints a picture of everything from the bottom up.
The so-called "Bimini Road" is a natural reef formation made of limestone. I first started looking at it in 1968 when one of my professors at the UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI, J. Manson Valentine, found it. It is not a road, nor a wall but just a limestone reef about a quarter of a mile long. It has stress points which appear to be seams of blocks, but under careful examination you can tell it is entirely natural. We have also analyzed samples and found them to be coral rock produced by a reef.
The reefs off Bimini from 300 feet up to the surface are less than 14,000 years old. This is the level to which the water rose at the end of the last ice age. There could not be a sunken city because the Bahama Islands are not shrinking but actually growing inches per year. This would have made any ancient city unstable.
Divers could not have found a city below 250 feet without special diving gases. We use a Trimix blend made from helium, oxygen and nitrogen for all dives below 200 feet down to around 800 feet. From 800 feet to 1500 feet we use blends of neon and oxygen. There are only a handful of people in the world trained and certified to dive these research blends. I am one of them and the group is a close knit family. No one has any knowledge nor has been asked to find an ancient city.
I could add another page or two, but at this point I think my answer is already overkill.
---Paul E. Pettennude
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